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Barbara Tuchman Quotes

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Barbara Tuchman
January 30, 1912 - February 6, 1989
Nationality: American
Category: Historian
Subcategory: American Historian

Dead battles, like dead generals, hold the military mind in their dead grip.


To a historian libraries are food, shelter, and even muse.


Reasonable orders are easy enough to obey; it is capricious, bureaucratic or plain idiotic demands that form the habit of discipline.


The unrecorded past is none other than our old friend, the tree in the primeval forest which fell without being heard.


Books are humanity in print.


Honor wears different coats to different eyes.


War is the unfolding of miscalculations.


Diplomacy means all the wicked devices of the Old World, spheres of influence, balances of power, secret treaties, triple alliances, and, during the interim period, appeasement of Fascism.


Nothing sickens me more than the closed door of a library.


Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.


For me, the card catalog has been a companion all my working life. To leave it is like leaving the house one was brought up in.


The fleet sailed to its war base in the North Sea, headed not so much for some rendezvous with glory as for rendezvous with discretion.


To put away one's own original thoughts in order to take up a book is a sin against the Holy Ghost.


No more distressing moment can ever face a British government than that which requires it to come to a hard, fast and specific decision.


Nothing so comforts the military mind as the maxim of a great but dead general.


Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.


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